On one of the forums, a particularly nasty forum in my opinion, there has been a thread about how the Government of Belize handles stray dogs. There is a practice of putting out poisoned food to eliminate unwanted animals in the streets. Our Stateside Sensibilities are inherently offended by such a practice. The tree hugging dog lover expats are up in arms about this. They call it inhumane and cruel. Who are we to judge? This has been going on here for years, and a few immigrants with high horses can not stop it.
Here's my take on the practice of poisoning unwanted stray dogs in the streets...First and foremost, if you have a dog, do not allow it to eat stuff left in the street. That alone will prevent your dog from becoming a victim of the Big Bad Belizean Government.
As for the right or wrong aspect of this practice...well... I can't say that I'm opposed to it. Belezians keep pets, but not in the way that Americans keep pets. A cat is generally kept to keep down the critters and a dog is for protection. I'm not saying that NO ONE of Belizean decent loves their pets. I'm sure many are caring and cuddling their animals right now! I'm just saying that more pets have a purpose here than in the States. As such, if the animal no longer serves the purpose it was intended to serve...well...there is just not much reason to keep it around.
Specifically, when we moved into this house, there was a dog who had been abandoned by the previous tenant. The house had been vacant for 4 months, so this little guy was pretty well fending for himself during that time. He is ragged, and rough, scared and still tough. Poor Mangy Dog. In the States, animal control would have been out and captured him and taken him to a shelter where (most likely) he would have been euthanized eventually. Here in Belize, no one even took a second look at him. He wandered starving and unhealthy through the streets for months! Would it have been inhumane to put a little pill into a piece of meat and feed Mangy Dog his last meal? Not in my opinion...it may have been a mercy. It didn't work out that way for Mangy Dog...
A couple from the states (us) rented the house he used to live in and started setting out their cat food for ol' Mangy Dog. When it became clear that Mangy Dog would survive, we went and bought him some dog food. He now lives on the landing of out stairs and doesn't run when we walk by him. Sean would like to capture Mangy Dog and get him to a vet...but baby steps. Mangy Dog is starting to trust us, and it will be a few weeks before I trust HIM enough to even pet him. (Dogs in Belize are notorious! DO NOT PET THE PUPS!) Once we fatten him up a little then maybe we'll catch him for a doctor visit.
Within the week, Mangy Dog's fur started growing back. He has an awful limp, probably caused by his toe nails growing into the pads of his little feet. His eyes are clearer. He seems to be recovering. But not all Mangy Dogs get this type of break. A few more weeks and he'd have been dead. WHY is it cruel to end his suffering? Why shouldn't the government eliminate dangerous and diseased animals? I'm posting a pic or two of Mangy Dog and I'll keep you posted as to his recovery.
|This is mangy dog the day I started feeding him...The white on his back is from the paint on our stairway.|